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Kane County votes all counted, but fighting might not be over
By James Fuller | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 2/18/2010 12:02 AM

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The final votes are all in, according to election officials in Aurora and Kane County. The addition of last-minute absentee votes and other lingering ballots didn't sway the outcome of any races. One candidate, though, is still looking to put up a fight.

Lorena Cundari lost to Kane County Board incumbent Gerry Jones by 14 votes in the District 7 race. She believes the outcome would be different if she didn't have to launch a complaint with the Kane County State's Attorney's office to get fair treatment at one Aurora polling place.

Cundari said she was up early on election day to put her campaign signs near the polling place at 1111 Church Road in Aurora. Jones already had his signs up in the same spot. She said as soon as her signs went up, a maintenance man tore them down. Jones' signs remained. The result was several hours of voting at the polling place with Jones' name everywhere, but no mention of his opponent, Cundari said. Because of that, Cundari may seek to have the results of the election thrown out via a legal challenge.

"I felt like after all my hard work in the campaign, the rug was being pulled out from under me," Cundari said. "I really feel like, if I just could've had my signs up and my name out there, it could've made the difference in the race."

Cundari complained to the owners of the property right after her signs came down. But Cundari said the property owners told her they could take down or leave the signs of any candidate they wanted because it was private property.

The property is the site of Alarm Detection Systems, Inc., which operates the security systems for most of the county's government buildings. The county has a long-standing contract with the company for those services, paying out about $136,000 the past two years.

Bob Bonifas, the owner of the company, recalled his conversation with Cundari clearly.

"I walked out into the lobby and (Cundari) is telling me what I can and can't do," Bonifas said. "I told her it's my property."

But then Bonifas received a call from the Aurora Election Commission. Officials informed him Cundari had the right to put her signs up along with Jones' because his property was public property while it was being used as a polling place. Cundari put her signs up, but it was too late for her liking.

Bonifas said he still doesn't like the idea of being told what to do with his property. In fact, he may tell the election commission to find a new spot for a polling place because of the Cundari situation.

"Frankly, I don't care what the law is," Bonifas said. "If the election commission is going to irritate me, they can have their election someplace else. I thought I had private property rights."

Bonifas said he let Jones put his signs up as a favor to a friend who was supporting Jones in his campaign, but he doesn't know Jones personally.

Jones said he's aware of the complaint Cundari has made, but said nothing that happened was improper as far as he knows.

• Daily Herald staff writers Susan Sarkauskas and Josh Stockinger contributed to this report.